Well, you'd never guess that this was the debut album from Moraine, so accomplished are they at what they do. Mind you, guitarist Dennis Rea, who leads the band, has a musical history that leaves lesser mortals sputtering in the dust. Four years living and working in China, stints playing with members of King Crimson, Klaus Schulze and the Sun Ra Arkestra doesn't even begin to hint at it.
Now working in an "electric string quartet-plus-drums", this takes in modern jazz, art-rock and traditional Chinese music, mixing it up into an indefinable new. The interplay between guitars, cellist Ruth Davidson and violinist Alicia Allen is quite breathtaking at times, with the only immediately obvious frame of reference being the David Cross era King Crimson.
Across eleven original compositions they crush you and soothe you, often at the same time. Naturally, not everything works, as is inevitable when you're trying to create something new, but tunes like 'Nacho Sunset', 'Uncle Tang's Cabinet of Dr. Caligari' and 'Revenge Grandmother' offer more than the average, in an adventurous exploration.
:twisted :twisted :twisted / 3 out of 5Buy @ Amazon